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The American people cannot wait a year let alone until 2019 for healthcare

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 04:05

Dear President Trump,

From first grade until halfway through the third grade, I lived in Maputo, Mozambique. In October 2013 my mom and I moved back to America because my grandfather and then stepfather had passed away suddenly and we needed to be in a place where we had support. My mom worked for the federal government as a contractor for nine years. She chose to leave her job so she could take care of herself and me. The healthcare insurance that she was offered when she left her job was too expensive. We were able to get healthcare through the Affordable Healthcare Act. My mom chose Obamacare. She only paid $1 a month for my healthcare. We did this for ten months, which allowed her to heal. She is now back at work and has full healthcare for us from her job. Imagine all the families like mine. If you take away the healthcare, then people could get hurt and not have care, which is very risky.

If you want to get rid of Obamacare, you should put something better on the table. And you cannot take a year to make a whole new care plan. You said, “We are putting in a wonderful plan. It statutorily takes a while to get. We’re going to be putting it in fairly soon. I would like to say, by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.” The American people cannot wait a year let alone until 2019 for healthcare. So please either keep Obamacare until your healthcare plan is ready or create a rustic healthcare plan and fix it over time.

Sincerely yours,

Karabelo Bowsky, Grade 6, Sidwell Friends School

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When I first found out that you won the election, to be honest, I felt fear

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 04:00

Dear Mr. Trump,

When I first found out that you won the election, to be honest, I felt fear. Fear that racial relations would get worst, fear that women would be looked at as lesser (more than they already are), and fear women will lose control of their own bodies. During your campaign, your words have been less than encouraging. In fact, your words have divided the country. Although I don’t support your presidency or the platform you ran on, I really do hope you have the best intentions for the country and that you are successful. Please listen to the voices of all Americans, to help bring together the country during a very hard time.

Abigail Regis, Grade 9, Friends Academy

The post When I first found out that you won the election, to be honest, I felt fear appeared first on Friends Journal.

Black people just want to be treated equally

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:55

Dear Donald J. Trump

Over the years there has been a hashtag: #BlackLivesMatter. Some people like to argue that all lives matter, but if that were true there would be no Black Lives Matter movement.

This all started in 2012 when Trayvon Martin was shot for looking suspicious, and his shooter (George Michael Zimmerman) was not held accountable for his actions. He was put on trial and found not guilty. In 2016, 258 black people were killed by police brutality in the United States. Thirty-nine of these people were unarmed. One of them, Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, became the 135th black person killed by police in 2016. The incident is on video, and it can clearly be seen that he simply did what the police told him to.

As a young black woman, I have been racially profiled. One particular time, after the movies, two of my black friends and I went into a store. The store employees continually asked us if we needed help and followed us around. After we left, I realized that they could have called security on us. We could have been one of the 258 people killed by police brutality.

In my opinion, not much has changed for people of color in America. Slavery, segregation, and now the reason behind Black Lives Matter, are all the same thing. We are being treated differently because of the color of our skin. Black people just want to be treated equally. There is no reason for us to be killed or even looked at differently. There is no reason for us to feel unsafe or insecure because of our skin color.

Why does the mistreatment satisfy people? Does it make these people happy to make us feel like we don’t belong simply because of the color of our skin? Does what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for mean absolutely nothing to them? We should be judged by who we are as a person, not by skin color. Unfortunately, this is not what’s happening. In fact, not much has changed. So, Mr. Trump, what are you going to do about this? How are you going to help with this situation?

Sincerely,

Nyah Thomas, Grade 7, Friends Academy

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Our police are not protecting and serving anymore

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:50

Dear Mr. Trump,

Congratulations on winning the 2016 election. It was a long battle between you and Mrs. Clinton. For the next four years you will be the President of the United States of America. As you serve, here is one thing to think about: inexperienced police. Recently in our country we have had many occasions where police have had either a short temper or jumped to conclusions much too early, and shot dead many citizens. This is completely unacceptable.

I believe these police are inexperienced and need better training. This training would be a test on the process of what a policeman or woman would do in order to make sure that no one is harmed. Our police are not protecting and serving anymore. They’re scaring and overpowering. If we would just bring attention to this problem, we could direct our attention to other issues, such as rapid extinction of international species, climate change, terrorist threats, and poverty around the world. I believe we need to bring more attention to these police as a first priority. I do realize that all police are attempting to do their absolute best, and most do respect all people, but it’s those who don’t that we need to talk to.

It has officially happened. You have officially won. Now it’s your turn to lead America. You, yes you, can make history by changing the environment and creating a safer community with more intelligent police. Please think about it.

Sincerely,

Carl Wagner, Grade 6, Westtown School

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One of the many injustices that I am craving for you to change is the death penalty

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:45

Dear Mr. Trump,

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I am hoping that you will dedicate your presidency to justice for all people. I hope that you use your presidential platform to give equality to all. I am asking you to stop the prejudice everywhere, so that there are no threats to justice anywhere.

One of the many injustices that I am craving for you to change is the death penalty. Our world is killing people who might not have even committed the crime they’ve been sentenced for. People who commit atrocious crimes can have a life sentence in prison, not be killed by the government. In 2015 alone, at least 1,634 people were executed in the world. Throughout the 1900s, 8,141 people were executed in the world. That is way too many. It is also possible that some of these people were wrongfully convicted. I believe that even the lives of deeply flawed criminals matter. I believe that everyone is here for a reason, and deserves their rights.

Elie Wiesel, who fought for equality during the Holocaust, strongly stated, “There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” I think that you, as our president, should never fail to protest and you should stand with me against injustice. I want you to stand against sexism, racism, homophobia, and every other injustice. One of the hot topics right now is the bathroom law. I want you to change this in your first year, and stand with transgendered individuals, and not fail to protest.

Eleanor Roosevelt once told America, “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.” We live in a place where justice is usually only given to one side. An example of this is the death penalty. Justice is something everyone deserves, and nobody should be forgotten.

There is a place called heaven. America is far from it. There are inequalities everywhere, and many things that you need to change. America isn’t a paradise and probably never will be. With your help we can move America in the right direction. We can take what we have and use it to make America a place where everyone is treated the same, no matter who they are. If you use your power for justice, you will always be remembered.

Sincerely,

Lucy Joy Rupertus, Grade 6, Greene Street Friends School

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I want my brother to be able to drive without having the fear of being pulled over

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:40

Dear President Donald Trump,

Being under 18, I had no say in the election, but I would like to mention that I would not have voted for you. You have very little care for minorities or anyone under you. My family is full of minorities, and I want them to be safe. I want my brother to be able to drive without having the fear of being pulled over and never seeing his family again. I want my uncle and aunt to be able to go to their local mosque without being harassed. I want my cousin to be able to marry whomever he wants to.

In your term as president, there are many issues that need to be addressed. A very important issue to focus on is the criminal justice system. The system is rigged. Too many people are being incarcerated, especially minorities due to the color of their skin. A way to help fix this problem would be to have police officers go through extensive training and wear body cameras at all times. Officers of the law need to be held accountable for their actions at all times. Racial profiling is terrible and should come to an end. Another issue is the problem of mass incarceration. According to Amnesty International, though the United States makes up 5 percent of the world’s population, it is responsible for 22 percent of the world’s prison population. This isn’t right. Mass incarceration is also very expensive, and funding all those jails and prisons takes away money that could go toward education and other very useful programs. Steps need to be made to improve the country. If you really want to make America great again, make changes for the better.

Sincerely,

Nawal N’Garnim, Grade 10, Westtown School

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The following is a letter of protest

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:35

President Trump,

The following is a letter of protest in regard to our xenophobic policies. Under the veil of the Republican primary, you openly declared that you would build a wall to prevent immigrants from Mexico from finding a home, a safe haven from the violence in their native country. You also stated that you would deport millions of undocumented immigrants who call America their home. Now I ask you: Will you separate families, snatch away the parents of a young American born in this country but whose parents were not? Will you have police enforcing the law, guns at the ready? If so, that is called fascism, which is unconstitutional and, in my mind, un-American. And what if this child’s parents have no other place in the world that they can call home? If you deport them, you will likely condemn them to a life of poverty and despair, far away from the nation they call home in their hearts. I am a 13-year-old Texan and a native Spanish speaker. Under your administration, many of my friends’ families would be deported, never to be seen again. I can assure you that while they may not be citizens, they are every bit as much patriotic Americans, no different from me. And in light of this, I urge you to do what is beneficial for all Americans who call this country home.

Sinceramente,

Davis Brooks, Grade 8, Wharton Dual Language Academy, member of Live Oak Meeting in Houston, Texas

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America has always welcomed immigrants from all over the world

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:30

Dear. President Trump,

I am a dual American-Palestinian citizen currently living in Ramallah, Palestine. I wanted to write to you today to let you know that since you took office I’ve been disappointed in some of the controversial decisions you’ve made, most notably the travel ban that prevents citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

America has always welcomed immigrants from all over the world. About two years ago, I visited the Statue of Liberty for the first time. I can recall being at Ellis Island with my family where we looked up my great-great-grandpa’s name from all those who immigrated to the United States in 1911. Mr. President, those immigrants made America great.

This is a human rights issue, and you as the president should help bring peace and equality between all people regardless of the color of their skin, race, or religion. As a Quaker school, we are taught many values. The one that affects me the most is equality. From all the news I’ve seen, you do not believe in or promote the principle of equality among citizens.

Mr. President, I know you have many goals you want to accomplish during your presidential term, but take this advice from a child: you’ll never succeed if your goals are not just and fair!

Sincerely,

Malak Qaradeh, Grade 7, Ramallah Friends School

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Do not break the hearts of the children who want to be together with their parents

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:25

Dear Mr. President Donald J. Trump,

It’s a pleasure to greet you from Costa Rica. I am writing this letter to ask you to continue to support my Costa Rican country’s economy and ecotourism. Thanks to ecotourism, many Costa Rican people have a daily job for their living expenses and food for the home. My hope is that you can keep the same process as the Obama administration.

This issue may not be important to you, but it affects us; all of Latin America is waiting for your help and generosity. As a Latin person, I ask you support the immigrant families. Like everyone else we work hard to survive. It is sad to me that you want to deport as many Latinos as possible. I have family that lives in the USA, and the government has not wanted to help them, despite the fact that they have lived in the states for many years. There are many families that already have a life formed, that have nowhere to go because the United States is their home.

Mr. Trump, do not break the hearts of the children who want to be together with their parents. Consider the importance of family values and the future of the children, and help them grow by educating them without discrimination and racism. Don’t construct the big wall to divide Latinos from people in the United States, no matter what their color or where we come from.

The most important thing is to be united. Together we can change the world in a good, positive way, learning to help each other, understand each other, and hear each other. If one day I wish to visit your country, I would be happy to be received with a good welcoming. For my part, I leave everything in the hands of God, wanting my voice to be heard.

Thank you for your attention and support. Sincerely,

Sara De La Torre, Grade 9, Monteverde Friends School

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America needs to be a safe place for anybody and everybody

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:20

Dear President Trump,

America needs to be a safe place for anybody and everybody. Many people are fleeing war-torn countries to find a safe, new life in America. They dream of living somewhere free, and they deserve that. These people have escaped traumatic, life-threatening situations, and I feel it’s our duty to open our arms to them and welcome them. America should be a place where everybody, including immigrants, members of the LGBT community, women, and people of different races, should be treated equally.

I would suggest that you read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. In it, a black man is put on trial for a crime he never committed, and is found guilty, simply for the color of his skin. In the end, he ends up dead, when he was always completely innocent in the first place. The book takes place in the late 1930s, and we tend to think that we’ve moved past these times, that nothing like that could ever happen now. There is still injustice in this world. While the characters in the book are fictional, the subject is very, very real.

The events happening in this world today have caused many young people, like myself, to have their eyes opened and be exposed to the ugly parts of this world. To Kill a Mockingbird is told through the eyes of an eight-year-old girl who navigates the world alongside her eleven-year-old brother. With their father being the lawyer of the innocent black man, the two young kids are exposed to terrible injustice.

It hits them both hard, particularly her brother. It’s clear that he’s been shocked by the injustice of the world, and has to work hard to get his faith in humans restored. He is a character who never took much interest in seeing the real world before, but now he can’t help but see what’s going on right before his eyes. Angry and hurt, he is forced to grow up right then and there. This has happened to many young people, including me, just like him. We live his storyline. We want to have a voice. We are young, but we have opened our eyes and see what’s going on in the world. We want to have our ideas heard.

The book is very much still important to today’s events. Injustice still very much exists. We ask for your help in stopping this. I ask that you please look around at the faces of all of the people here in America today, and not see black people and white people, men and women, gay people and transgender people, but just people. We are all people.

Sincerely, a concerned citizen,

Gillian C. Murray, Grade 7, Leaves of Learning, member of Oxford (Ohio) Meeting

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I feel that nationalism can help America

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-05-01 03:15

Dear Mr. President,

As you have taken office, you have disrupted many societies throughout the world. You promise to increase our nation’s borders, to accurately vet immigrants, and to make America great again, all from what people say is your hubris and excessive nationalism. Having pride in your country never is unethical, but when it becomes jingoism it affects the communities around us. When Napoleon ruled over France, he instituted a form of patriotism throughout the country. Although this gave citizens an identity and something to live for, it developed into expansionist nationalism, filling the French civilians with hubris and ultimately retracting France’s reign. We are currently headed down this path. Your speeches express a great deal of patriotism, however when you speak, many people ask if history may repeat itself.

Another aspect people fear is your temperament and how effortless it is to spark an altercation with you. You denounce people on TV, and hardly listen to anyone. People think that your attitude is paltry, but I find it hypocritical. In the past century, our country had an amazing time period. We expanded votes to minorities, overcame three considerable wars, and flew to the moon. People were able to agree on basic political views and accomplish deeds that make America what it is today. However, since we conceived the idea of “liberal” and “conservative,” it gave some permission to dehumanize each other. You may not like someone for their opinions; however, when we call each other “bleeding-heart liberals” or “greed-fueled conservatives,” it’s no better than barbarizing an ethnicity. As a result, we can barely focus on what we need to do to save our country. People are so intent on disagreeing with each other over social media like Facebook and Twitter that we are not attempting to find something Americans can agree on. During the French Revolution, France itself was going through an identity crisis. People were so busy opposing factions and killing each other that no one focused on how to secure France’s government. This is repeating today. People who claim that you’re a loudmouthed brute are too egotistical to consider your message because you’re a “conservative fool.”

I don’t feel that you deserve the objections you receive. I feel that nationalism can help America. However, for someone who promises that “America now will be heard,” perhaps it’s time to listen to everyone, not just your supporters. There was a time where there were such things as liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats, and people managed to cooperate to move the country forward. This message is for you and for everyone. America will never progress if we continue counterproductive bickering. You are the president of America, and you won fairly. Instead of squabbling with people on Facebook who may not necessarily agree with you, it might be time to acknowledge and work with your fellow Americans; that is what brought us the amazing success we have seen in the twentieth century.

Sincerely,

Jacob Orloff, Grade 10, Sandy Spring Friends School

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We Remember You

May 5 has been chosen as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. Reps. Chaffetz (UT) and Grijalva (AZ) have proposed a resolution, H. Res. 222, calling on Congress to support the Day.

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Crisis in Focus: Nigeria

April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Last year, we commemorated the month through a series of posts remembering the devastation and lives lost to genocide and mass atrocities in the past. This year, we commemorated Genocide Prevention and Awareness Month by highlighting current conflicts where the ongoing atrocities urgently demand an effective U.S. government response.

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US politicians grow sceptical of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen

Kate Gould of FCNL told the Middle East Eye that she expects a much higher vote count in the senate against the U.S. weapons sale to Saudi Arabia this time. House letters and Murphy's bill in the senate are indicative of a shift in how Congress views the Saudi war.

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The AHCA Is Back -- And Much Worse

Leaders in the House of Representatives have just reached a deal on a revised -- even worse -- bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and they're moving fast.

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Annual Meeting & Quaker Public Policy Institute 2017

Learn. Lobby. Lead. As FCNL enters our 75th year, join Quakers and friends for four days of community, celebration, and advocacy.

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The AHCA Is Back -- And Much Worse

Leaders in the House of Representatives have just reached a deal on a revised -- even worse -- bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and they're moving fast. They could hold a vote in the next 36 hours.

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Curbelo, Deutch Lead Bipartisan Support for Paris Climate Agreement

Today, Reps Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) and Ted Deutch (FL-22), co-chairs of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, led 19 other members of the Caucus in a letter to President Trump urging him to maintain our country's commitment to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

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End U.S. Support for Deadly Yemen War

With the U.S. military already fueling Saudi jets in Yemen, the White House is considering an escalation, from further intelligence sharing to possible direct US military intervention in the Yemen war. Congress can stop the U.S. from fueling the bloodshed in Yemen.

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Crisis in Focus: Yemen

April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Last year, we commemorated the month through a series of posts remembering the devastation and lives lost to genocide and mass atrocities in the past. This year, we will commemorate Genocide Prevention and Awareness Month by highlighting current conflicts where the ongoing atrocities urgently demand an effective U.S. government response.

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